New consumer redress scheme starts to receive complaints about property agent members

Press Notice 19th January 2015 London

The Property Redress Scheme (PRS) is seeing an increasing number of consumer complaints being made against Lettings, Property Management and Estate Agent Members now that their Consumers are being made aware of their right to redress.

The PRS is one of three consumer redress schemes authorised by the government whose role it is to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between members of the public and property agents. By law, all Agents, as defined by legislation, must be a member of one of these three schemes.

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far, 44% were by Landlords and 41% were by Tenants, with the remaining 15% being raised by Buyers and Sellers of property.

The complaints have varied widely in content, with the top three grievances being unfair or excessive fees (21%) non return of holding deposit (18%) and perceived poor service or lack of communication (18%).

Agents are also resolving complaints directly with their Consumers when they are notified of the issue proving that the PRS is having a positive effect on service offered and that some complaints can arise from simple miscommunication between parties.

Grounds for non-acceptance of complaints have included Consumers that had not yet attempted to raise a formal complaint with their Agent but had instead come direct to the PRS. Others were declined as the complaint involved on-going court action.

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress for the PRS, said:

“It is great to see that Consumers are becoming aware of their right to redress. The existence of the schemes means that Agents can no longer shirk their responsibility to address client dissatisfaction without being held to account. Some consumers have found that by simply informing their Agent that they have been in contact with the PRS, it has prompted their Agent to actively address the issues they have raised.”

 


About the Property Redress Scheme

The Property Redress Scheme is a new, straightforward and easy to use consumer redress (ombudsman) scheme for Property Agents and Professionals.

The main purposes of the Property Redress Scheme are to allow Agents to comply with their legal requirement to be a member of a government authorised consumer redress scheme and to settle or resolve complaints made by consumers against our Members.

We are authorised by the Department for Communities and Local Government to offer redress to Lettings and Property Management Agents and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (formally the OFT) to offer redress to Estate Agents.

Although only in operation since July 2014 the Property Redress Scheme now has over 2,500 Members and this number continues to grow on a daily basis.

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